DILG disarms cops in Sulu fatal shooting; NBI to investigate

Marje Pelayo   •   June 30, 2020   •   427

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año has ordered the disarming of the nine policemen involved in a shooting incident with soldiers in Jolo, Sulu.

Based on the investigation of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the nine policemen responded to a call from a colleague from the Drug Enforcement Unit after seeing an alleged suspicious vehicle believed to have been watching them for days.

Tawag ng isang taga-DEU na iyong sighted na sasakyan noong isang araw ay nakita na naman doon sa tapat niya,” explained PBGen. Manuel Abu, Director of Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR).

[There was a call from a member of the Drug Enforcement Unit saying the vehicle that was sighted days before appeared again in the area.]

The official said the nine policemen, who were patrolling in the area at that time, immediately fled to the scene and accosted the four armed men in civilian clothing. 

Abu said the soldiers identified themselves but instead of presenting proper documents for identification, the soldiers shouted at the cops. 

“Sabi ng pulis para hindi na lamang sila magtalo doon sa daan, doon na lamang sila mag usap sa istasyon for identification talaga,” General Abu continued. 

[The cop explained that to avoid an altercation, they invited the men to the police station so they could talk and for proper identification of the men.]

“Pagdating sa police station imbes na tumigil sila, nauuna iyong sasakyan ng Army kasi, tumakbo. Hinabol ng pulis sakay ng mobile. Naka uniform naman ang pulis. Sila ay naka-sibilyan,” he added.

[Upon reaching the police station, the soldier’s vehicle which was at the front of the convoy did not stop. The police mobile chased them. The police were in uniform, they were in civilian clothes.]

The police pursued the soldiers and were able to catch them in the midst of the traffic. 

Abu said two of the soldiers got off the vehicle with their firearms on. 

Iyong isa may bitbit na M4 at nagkaputukan na. Iyong isa naka short firearms. So may intensyon,” he said. 

[One of them was holding an M4 (rifle) then a gunfight erupted. The other one was holding a shorter firearm. The intention was there.]

The Philippine Army Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM), on the other hand, said that the four men were members of the military intelligence unit and were on official mission thus they were in civilian clothes. 

[The four soldiers] were on official function,” said WESMINCOM Spokesperson Major Arvin Encinas.

“They were doing their jobs during that time at yan po ang malinaw at sila po ay binaril ng [and it’s very clear that they were shot by] PNP personnel,” he added.

The DILG has now placed the involved policemen under custody at the PNP Provincial Headquarters and were asked to surrender their firearms for ballistic tests. 

For now, both the leadership of the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) agreed to allow the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to handle the investigation for impartiality. 

Gusto po naming mabigyan ng kasagutan ang lahat ng mga [We want to get answers for all the] allegations on both side,” Encinas noted.

The four soldiers killed in the incident were:

  • Major Marvin Indammog;
  • Capt. Irwin Managuelod;
  • Sgt. Jaime Velasco: and
  • Corporal Abdal Asula

MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

NBI recommends filing of raps vs Jolo cops involved in killing of soldiers

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday recommended to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the filing of complaints against police officers involved in the killing of four soldiers in Jolo, Sulu in late June.

In its report to the DOJ, the NBI recommended the filing of four counts of murder and planting of evidence against the following cops:

  • PSMS Abdelzhimar Padjiri
  • Police Master Sergeant Hanie Baddiri
  • P/Staff Sergeant Iskandar Susulan
  • PSSg Erniskar Sappal
  • PCorporal Sulki Andaki
  • Patrolman Mohammad Nur Pasani
  • PSSg Almudzrin Hadjaruddin
  • Patrolman Alkajal Mandangan
  • Patrolman Rajiv Putalan

The NBI also recommended the filing of neglect of duty charges against three police officials:

  • Sulu Provincial Police director P/Colonel Michael Bayawan Jr.
  • Jolo Municipal Police Station chief P/Major Water Annayo
  • Sulu Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit chief P/Captain Ariel Corcino

The shooting incident happened on June 29. Four soldiers were said to be tailing alleged suicide bombers when they were supposedly accosted by nine cops.

Despite identifying themselves as members of the military, they were instructed by the policemen to proceed to the police station for the verification of their identities.

Police spot report stated that the shooting incident transpired when the soldiers allegedly tried to escape and pointed their weapons at the police officers, which allegedly prompted the cops to open fire.

The NBI was tasked to investigate the incident as both agreed by the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The DOJ said the complaints will be elevated to the court once it has found a probable cause. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Catriona Gray asks NBI to track down those behind fake online photos

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray on Tuesday appeared at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to press charges against those who uploaded a digitally-altered and malicious photo of her online.

Gray met with NBI Deputy Director Vicente de Guzman to discuss her complaint.

Gray’s lawyer earlier said a “fake” topless photo of the beauty queen is circulating online and denounced the “vicious attempt to tarnish the good name of Ms. Gray.”

NBI’s Cybercrime division was tasked to handle the investigation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Pangilinan seeks Senate probe on fatal shooting of 4 soldiers in Jolo

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Pangilinan is calling for an inquiry into the killing of four soldiers by local policemen in Jolo, Sulu.

“Nakakabahala ang balitang ito. Ngayon pa lang na hindi pa batas ang anti-terror bill, may nangyayari nang ganito. Ano na lang ang laban ng ordinaryong tao?” Pangilinan said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Monday afternoon, June 29, four members of the Philippine Army were fatally shot by police officers some meters away from the Jolo police station.

The Army said the four soldiers were on an official mission and were tracking suspected suicide bombers  when they were accosted by the local police.

The soldiers, who had been wearing plain clothes, were said to have introduced themselves to the policemen. The cops allegedly told them to go with them to a nearby police station for identity verification.

Initial police report said that as their team and Army officers approached the police station, the soldiers’ vehicle allegedly sped off, prompting a car chase.

Police said they only defended themselves when the soldiers opened fire.

The Army disputed this claim, saying the soldiers did not try to escape and never fired a single shot towards police officers based on eye-witness accounts of two civilians and of a motorcycle-riding soldier who was part of the operation trailing the soldiers’ vehicle.

Pangilinan said the police and military have different versions of what happened, and an “independent and impartial” Senate probe will “help bring out the truth.”

“This incident is disturbing because it appears that the police are quick in pulling the trigger without careful judgment. If they can do this to their fellow uniformed men, how much more to the ordinary civilians who are unarmed and defenseless?” the senator said.

Nevertheless, Pangilinan called on military and police ground commanders to “rein in their men to preserve peace and avert escalation of tension between the armed personnel.”

“We should be going after the common enemy — terrorists, drug lords, armed groups, and in this time of the pandemic, COVID — not against each other,” Pangilinan said.

The Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier said they have requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an impartial probe into the incident.

The nine policemen involved in the incident, as well as the chief of Jolo police station have also been ordered relieved from their posts pending investigation.

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